Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Walking on the Sun

Ahh, the immortal words of Smash Mouth...

So I never got around to writing up last week, and here we are on Wednesday and I still haven't written up this past week. Darn not having a computer.

Quick highlights from the previous weekend:

Charles Street 12 Miler wasn't a complete debacle. Actually heard pretty favorable things about it, including the post-race celebree. But, people - complaining that it had too many hills (as in UP, because the net elevation was ridic), it's like AYFKM??

4 dudes in the top 8, Meg McNew got a big win, pretty cool.

The next day was the Falmouth Road Race. Ed Aramayo applied last year, didn't get in, so was guaranteed this year. When many others attempted this year, they didn't get in. So Ed went up and scooped up Ashley Campbell on the way. Ed ran better than expected, although is sour because they apparently are crediting his gun time and chip time as the same - and he says he started way, way back.

Meg McNew earned that week's Purple Drink Athlete of the Week.

Then it was onto this past weekend. Bunch of so-so performances on Wednesday's BRRC Summer Meet (last of the summer) and they held a 3000m not a 5000m. Poor form, BRRC!

Some names in the results though that don't often appear, like Terry Decker, who drove all the way down to Luray by his lonesome to do the International Triathlon. Hasn't been swimming so that was pretty slow, but he had a strong ride and then a really good run! Under 40min for the 10k on a tough course.

Sara Damiano ran the Washington Crossing 15k in Bucks County, PA, finishing in 1:11:34 - about a minute faster than last year - so she's coming along nicely! And Dan Miranda went out and got his 2014 Boston Qualifier taken care of by running 3:01 at the Chasing the Unicorn Marathon the next day.

Matt Franco tried to cherry pick a win and some $ at the FEED Annapolis 5 Miler, ultimately finishing 3rd in a time (27:38) that was faster than his college XC personal best so he was pretty pleased. Tim Burns ran the Dog Days 5M up in LBI, finishing 3rd in 27:55. Great job guys!

Ben and Kendra Ingram were in Steamboat Springs, CO, for the Olympic distance triathlon there and both crushed! It was Kendra's 1st attempt at the distance and Ben finished 21st overall, breaking 2:10.

Terry was our PDAW this week.

The big event last week, though, was the IAAF World Championships of Track and Field. While attendance seemed about as lacking as Tom Hammond's ability to properly identify the finish line, I was psyched to have 10 days of track to watch. Here's some of my thoughts:

A lot of people were ragging on Mary Cain's tactics (or lack thereof) throughout the 3 rounds of the race. Once again, let's remember, she's freaking 17 years old. She had no shot at winning, and to think otherwise is completely unrealistic. Yes, I understand that technically anybody who qualifies for the WC, and particularly those who make the final, are capable of winning - but it wasn't going to happen. So people need to back off and let this young lady progress. She ran 3 of her fastest times ever at the distance in a style of racing that doesn't often see times even close to PRs. That's hard. She handled it well and is going to accomplish great things.

More significantly, most people glanced over Ajee Wilson. I know she's a couple of years older and eschewed college in favor of racing professionally, but she ran 3 remarkable rounds of the 800m to finish in a new PB (and near US Junior Record) in the final. Positions 3-6 were separated by a scant 0.30 seconds in the final. She's from Neptune (NJ) so I have to give her props. She may not have the range of Mary Cain, but I could see her owning this event as she is young.

Of course I have to shout out my close, personal friend Brenda Martinez. To toot my own horn, and Ed can confirm, but I said last year when I saw her crush at the Millrose Games that she was going to be the IT runner in the not-so-distant future. This year she has PR'd in the 800m, 1500m, and 5000m and raced a ton. I legitimately believed she would win the 800m, and while she narrowly medaled (3rd, only because Montano faded so hard and in her fatigue moved out of lane 1, leaving it open for BMart) I think this was a great race for her. Last place at the 100m but runs the fastest last 100m.

Matt Centrowitz is a stud. Think about it. Took bronze in the 1500m in 2011 at Daegu which, at the time, was a pretty big deal. By his (and our) now lofty standards didn't have a great Olympics, but what did he finish, 4th? Oh, and he had surgery in the spring that set him back months. The fact he even made the final last year was amazing. This year he improves one spot, and in a real deal race. There are championship runners, and he is one of them.

Nick Symmonds ran the best race of his life to earn silver in the 800m. He has outgrown his sit-and-kick self where he'd float way off the back for 3/4 of the race and then just try and run 200m fast. Instead he capitalized on Duane Solomon's front-running strategy and pulled up alongside him at 400m, blocking the rest of the field. He then went into his kick and seriously looked like he could pull it off, but it was obvious that Aman was just faster. Duane Solomon looked untouchable in the rounds but I think he ran them too fast. He'll learn.

Jenny Simpson ran an incredible 1500m and it's great to see her back to form. Aregawi wasn't going to be beat, but Simpson tried her damndest. Do you know how hard it is to lead for most of the race, get passed, fight to keep up, get dropped, and then still unleash a kick that if she had another 109 meters she would have won? Major props to Simpson.

It was good to see a return to some 400m "dominance" and nice that we at least broke up the Jamaican medal sweep with some podium finishers in the 100m and 200m events (men's and women's). Very sad to see Allyson Felix go down and miss the opportunity to compete for the win in the 200m.

And even though he's not American, what can you say about Mo Farah? Not surprisingly, he won the 10,000m. Somewhat surprisingly, it didn't look that easy. He then had to face, yet again, a whole new field of (fresh) opponents in the 5000m. I don't understand the tactics of other competitors. Mo has proven, time and time again, that he can (and will) beat you by running faster than you can over the last 800m. If he is in the lead with a lap to go, he will not let you go by him. Why chance that? I've seen the Kenyan and Ethiopian contingent all run under 13 minutes in the last 12 months. Some of them have PBs that are 9 seconds faster than Mo's. Just treat it like an invite, not a championship. Otherwise he's going to keep beating you. To me that says you fear him, and you don't believe you can win.


scotty doesn't know said...

love the last line Ryan!

RM said...

Thanks Tom - it's a similar principle to when Lance was the "patron" of the peloton. LA was beatable in 2003 but each of the main GC guys was worried about his own position. I don't know about you, but I'd rather finish DFL and go out in a blaze of glory trying to win than to finish 2nd and wondered "what if?"

Rory said...

I was at Falmouth too! Not a fan of the crowd but a beautiful course.

RM said...

RoJenks - Ed said he ran into you! I don't have an email address for you but whenever I see you in results I give you shout outs. Shoot me a message so I can get you back on the list!